NBC's The Office ended its season last night with a special one-hour episode entitled "Search Committee." In it, Jim (John Krasinski), Toby (Paul Lieberstein), and Gabe (Zach Woods) interview a wide variety of candidates vying for the manager position at Dundler Mifflin Sabre. Jo (Kathy Bates, whose NBC series Harry's Law was just renewed) returns to check on the process, but gives little input on who should be chosen. Jo does send Gabe back to Florida, though, when it's clear that he has gotten too personally involved in office drama, and replaces him on the panel with Kelly (Mindy Kaling). Angela (Angela Kinsey) gets engaged to her senator boyfriend, and the staff wonders if they should tell her that he's gay. Phyllis (Phyllis Smith) wonders if she might be Erin's (Ellie Kemper) mother. Ellie makes a play to win back Andy (Ed Helms). And Pam (Jenna Fischer) tries to keep acting manager Creed (Creed Bratton) from losing all their clients.
The Office brings in some heavy star power to apply for the top job, though few are serious contenders. Jim Carrey (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is the briefest cameo, complete with funny accent, concerned with getting back to his family in the Finger Lakes. Real life Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett is similarly quick, but surprisingly funny as he tries to negotiate a salary. Ricky Gervais (The Invention of Lying) reprises his British The Office character of David Brent for the second time this season. Will Arnett (Arrested Development) leaves surprisingly little impression, while Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond, Men of a Certain Age) kills as a bumbling nervous applicant.
Neither Carrey or Gervais, who have movie careers, Arnett, who is already starring in a new series next season, Romano, who has a show on TNT, nor Buffett, a real CEO, will be the boss. All have prior, more important commitments. They are a welcome diversion in a fantastic and memorable episode, but that is all they are. While speculation will continue to reign over who will ultimately get the job, it is not worth talking about any of those applicants in any serious manner.